The month of February begins the year-long birthday celebrations of our six grandchildren. They live hundreds of miles away and I really miss celebrating the day of their birth with them. Besides, I already miss watching them play ball, singing in the church choir, attending Grandparents Day at school, coaching them through the potty training tussle, cheering when they roll over for the first time, or even seeing that Wow! in their eyes when they discover they can walk with no hands.

So many misses. My routine telephone calls just seem to whet my appetite for a visit. As a grandmother I want them to know me, see my face when I laugh to tears at their antics, tuck them in at bedtime with a little tickle on the tummy, or feel the warmth of my hands as I te nderly hug them. I want to tell them those old family stories about their parent as a child and give them a sense of history as I relate the stories of the family of long ago. However, since I cannot physically be present most of the time, I am starting a tradition of writing in a journal for each grandchild on his or her birthday.

On the actual day of their birth I have set aside some uninterrupted time to write them a letter in a personalized journal. Each letter will contain, at the least, the following:

  • A favorite memory of mine from the previous year. 
  • A recognized accomplishment that warrants applause (good conduct grade, cleaning dinner plate).
  • A character trait that will equip them for life, like being honest.
  • A portion of scripture from the Bible that is meaningful for the coming year.
  • A short prayer of encouragement.
  • Something news worthy, family event.

I think my plan is workable. The letters will not be pages and pages of ramblings but letters meant to inspire my grandchild.

I know that it will be a remarkable memory maker for me. I just pray that when the moment comes for me to present them their journals, they will experience the love and joy their grandmother had while writing.